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The Cost of Life on Earth: companies, climate change and your money - A conference organised by the ECCR Oxford Group

How do we use our investments to help tackle the climate crisis and create a more positive world?

27th - 28th February 2015.

Trafficking, FTSE 100 and sustainable communities

ECCR has launched a new two-phase Project, in partnership with Us (formerly USPG), Finance Against Trafficking (FAT) and Rathbone Greenbank. It will raise awareness of human trafficking amongst a number of groups and demonstrate the link between UK businesses and the vulnerable communities around the world which they impact. Phase 1 will focus on providing information and guidance specifically aimed at corporate investors, investment managers and Boards of FTSE 100 companies. Phase 2 will be about re-casting the information and guidance in order to make it particularly relevant and useful for faith groups, individuals within congregations, civil society groups and individual savers and investors who will be encouraged and provided with tools to engage with companies and encourage greater corporate responsibility on this issue. More details can be found in the press release which can be found here.


Letters sent by ECCR Chair to leaders of key UK political parties about shareholder empowerment

Chair of ECCR, Bishop Michael Doe, has today written to all three leaders of the UK political parties in view of the forthcoming election. He asks:

  • What proposals the parties have for facilitating greater shareholder involvement with their own investments;
  • Where investments continue to be pooled (pension funds, investment trust, life funds, OEICs), what steps would the parties take to ensure fund managers kept companies ethical standards under review, and take account of them in evaluating the long-term performance of investments?
  • How do the parties envisage fund managers could report to their fund providers about such dialogues?

See the letter written to David Cameron – it can be found here.

Shareholder Resolutions

ECCR has joined the shareholder resolutions that have successfully been filed at BP and Shell by the Church Investors Group (CIG). These will now feature on the ballot papers for both companies’ AGMs later this year. The resolutions are designed to be stretching for the companies and are intended to help manage the risks and opportunities that the transition to a low carbon economy will pose to their investment value. The full text of both resolutions is available on the CIG website -

53 institutional co-filers were identified by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Diocese of Westminster, Jesuits in Britain, Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation and the United Reformed Church Ministers’ Pension Trust together with ECCR, ICCR, and SHARE. ShareAction - Louise Rouse, and Client Earth also provided invaluable assistance as part of their ongoing work programme. The full list of co-filers can be found here.

Christian perspectives on tax

John Arnold, Executive Director of ECCR, spoke appeared on the Share Radio programme 'Faith and Finance' in early January 2015. A recording of the show can be found here


Economic Resilience and the Ethical Money Churches Project

ECCR’s Executive Director, John Arnold, joined others invited by Friends Provident Foundation for the launch of "Economic resilience in 13 Short Lessons". Read more...

ECCR celebrates its first 25 years

Supporters and partners gathered at Southwark Cathedral on October 22nd to celebrate ECCR's Silver Anniversary.  The afternoon began with a Thanksgiving Service at which ECCR Patron Bishop Richard Harries preached on what has been achieved so far, and the many challenges which remain.  His sermon can be found here. ECCR’s other Patron, Bishop William Kenney, gave the Blessing.

The Order of Service, which contains resources which may be more generally useful in acts of worship, can be found here.

This was followed by a Panel Debate on "Investing in Equality", led by Catherine Howarth from ShareAction, former M.P John Battle, and Toby Quantrill from Christian Aid.

ECCR's new report on Fair Pay was launched here, and presentations given on the Ethical Money Churches project and the ECCR 2013/14 Annual Review here.

ECCR calls on investors to tackle pay inequality

To mark its 25th anniversary, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), the church investor advocacy coalition has released a report 'Using Ethical Investment to Close the Gap', a radical call to action for the investor community to use their ownership responsibilities to address ever increasing levels of wealth inequality in the UK.

John Arnold, Executive Director of ECCR, said "For too long investors have presided over a corporate system that over-rewards the elite whilst leaving many employees at poverty level. We want individual and institutional investors to join their church investor colleagues, and revisit their responsibilities, as owners of businesses, to challenge companies to tackle low pay and insecure work."

Acknowledging that one in five British workers are paid below a "living wage" and - in the same financial year – the average FTSE 100 Chief Executive Officer earned £4.7 million, the far-reaching report calls for FTSE AllShare companies to:

  • Ensure that all staff working on their premises, be they employees or subcontractors, are paid a living wage
  • Provide greater transparency on differences in pay by disclosing the extent to which senior executive pay exceeds average employee pay.

Bishop Michael Doe, Chair of ECCR, stated that "As we approach a General Election there needs to be a concerted effort by Christians and others to show that an increasingly unequal society is bad for the people involved (whether they are at the top, or pushed to the bottom by the declining value of wages and benefits), for society as a whole, and often for business itself."

Download the PDF

The Banks and Society - Trust Rebuilt?

A joint report with Rathbone Greenbank Investments

The Banks and Society: Trust Rebuilt?ECCR and Rathbone Greenbank Investments launched their joint report on the banking sector on Monday 10 March.

­Throughout the summer of 2013, we met with senior representatives from six of  the UK’s
leading retail banks including Barclays, HSBC, and RBS to review the five key challenges facing
the banking sector today, namely:

  • ­Regulatory action and culture change
  • Tax policy and practices
  • Social and environmental risks in project and corporate finance activities
  • Regional lending
  • Access to finance

The aim of our latest report The Banks and Society: Trust Rebuilt? is to provide a snapshot of performance across the five areas, in order to inform debate and provide a foundation for interested stakeholders wishing to understand the issues or engage with the banks themselves. 

Don’t just read our view, have your say on Twitter: #trustrebuilt

­Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Ethical and Sustainable Investment Services

Read the full report

­Other ECCR Reports

The Banks and Society: Rebuilding TrustThe Banks and Society: Rebuilding Trust (2011)

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